During the military dictatorship he saved many lives, as this story from Chiesa reports.
ROME, September 27, 2013 – In his interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” that has gone all around the world, Pope Francis describes the Church as “a field hospital after battle,” where the very first thing to do is “heal wounds.”
But what changes when the battle is fully underway?
In his Argentina, between 1976 and 1983, Jorge Mario Bergoglio lived through the ‘years of lead’ of the military dictatorship. Kidnappings, torture, massacres, 30,000 disappeared, 500 mothers killed after giving birth in prison to children who were taken away from them.
What the young provincial of the Argentine Jesuits at the time did during those years long remained a mystery. So dense as to prompt the suspicion that he had passively witnessed the horror, or worse, had exposed to greater danger some of his confrères, those most committed among the resistance.
Last spring, immediately after his election as pope, these accusations were issued again.
They were also immediately contradicted by authoritative voices, albeit highly critical of the overall role of the Argentine Church in those years: the mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Nobel peace laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Amnesty International. The Argentine magistracy itself had exonerated Bergoglio of all accusations, after having subjected him to questioning in a proceeding between 2010 and 2011.
But if at this point it was established that the current pope had done nothing worthy of condemnation, it was still unknown what good he might have done during those terrible years, to “heal wounds.”
Unknown until yesterday. Because to lift the veil from this hidden face of the past of Pope Francis for the first time a book has now been published by EMI, small in its dimensions but explosive in its content. It will be in Italian bookstores as of October 3, and then gradually in eight other countries of the world where translations are already underway. “Bergoglio’s List” is its title. And one thinks immediately of “Schindler’s list” immortalized by the film of Steven Spielberg. Because the substance is the same, as the subtitle of the book says: “Those saved by Francis during the dictatorship. The story never told.”